Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Indonesia and Africa synergize cooperation at Indonesia-Africa Forum 2018


Indonesia and Africa synergize cooperation at Indonesia-Africa Forum 2018

Indonesia and Africa synergize cooperation at Indonesia-Africa Forum 2018
Photo credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs | IAF2018

Unleashing potentials: Developing Sustainable Economic and Investment Cooperation

“[The] Indonesia-Africa Forum is the embodiment of the commitment of Indonesia and African countries to advance and prosper together and become the first forum, where Africa and Indonesia can meet and discuss concrete cooperation involving various stakeholders,” said Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs H.E. Retno Marsudi in her report during the opening of the Indonesia-Africa Forum (IAF) 2018 at Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center, Denpasar.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs hoped that the IAF event can be maximally utilized to explore more potential cooperation that will benefit Indonesia-Africa in order to achieve mutual prosperity. “This time for Africa,” she affirmed.

The first-ever IAF event on the theme Developing Sustainable Economic and Investment Cooperation” was officially opened by Vice President Jusuf Kalla. “Let’s [walk] hand in hand in strengthening the relations between Indonesia and Africa and to build a just and prosperous world together,” he said in his keynote speech at the opening session of the IAF 2018.

The event was attended by over 500 participants including 240 delegates from 46 African countries, International Organizations and Development Partners while from Indonesia, about 200 people were present from the government, private sector, and business players. Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Home Affairs, Minister for Trade, and Minister for Foreign Affairs were also present at the opening.

The series of the IAF 2018 meeting programs will include discussion forums, industry fairs, and business dealsOn the sidelines of the meeting there will also be a number of bilateral meetings between Indonesia and African countries.

In his opening speech, the Vice President expressed his hope that the forum will be able to establish real economic cooperation, in various fields and continue to map cooperation in infrastructure, strategic industries, and financing facilities.

Currently, Indonesia needs oil, cotton, and cocoa beans from Africa, while Africa requires palm oil, motor vehicles, and instant noodles from Indonesia. In the field of investment, more than 30 companies in the fields of pharmaceuticals, textiles, energy and others, operating in Africa.

IAF 2018 is a showcase of concrete economic cooperation between Indonesia and African countries to translate the political and historical closeness of Indonesia-Africa into a close and tangible economic cooperation.

During the IAF 2018 event, business deals worth USD 586.56 million will be signed, and Indonesia also expressed its commitment to strengthen cooperation with Africa, among others, through the enhancement of technical cooperation and capacity building to Africa region; improvement of scholarship cooperation, development of competitive export credit facilities, increased connectivity cooperation, and exploring trade agreements through the establishment of Preferential Trade Agreement.

In addition, in the next year as an effort to follow up the IAF 2018 meeting, there is a plan to hold Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue in August/September 2019.

The meeting will also discuss the potential and opportunities of cooperation between the two countries, such as the cooperation in food security, creative and digital economy, energy, and construction, and action steps to realize the possibility of cooperation programs that have not been explored so far.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla opens IAF 2018 and affirms “Indonesia-Africa forever!”

Vice President Jusuf Kalla officially opened the first Indonesia-Africa Forum (IAF 2018) in Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center on 10 April 2018.

The Vice President conveyed that Indonesia and Africa have a long history beginning with the organizing of the Asian-African Conference (KAA) in Bandung in 1955 and subsequently with the Non-Alignment Movement in 1965. The spirit of cooperation between Indonesia and Africa has been continuous, marked by the 50-year and 60-year anniversaries of the Asia-Africa Conference in the years 2005 and 2015, respectively.

Indonesia and Africa thereafter keep working together in promoting the economic cooperation. Indonesia also considered Africa as a strategic partner in foreign policy. African countries, likened to Wakanda in the Black Panther film have uncharted potential and resources that are not widely known by the international community.

Like Africa, Indonesia – as a growing economy in Asia, the largest in Southeast Asia, as well as a member of the G20 – is developing infrastructure to boost economic growth. In addition, the Vice President also encouraged the continuation of Kerja Sama Selatan-selatan dan Triangular (KSST) (South-South and Triangular Cooperation) program of Indonesia-Africa that may explore the potential of economic cooperation in the future.

The value of Indonesia-Africa trade, according to the Vice President, continues to increase. According to the latest statistics in 2017, the value of Indonesia-Africa trade was USD 4.86 billion in export value and USD 3.97 billion in import value, with a surplus trade balance for Indonesia of USD 887.28 million and an upward trend of 15.25% from 2016.

The main export commodities of RI to Africa, among others, are palm oil, processed food and beverages, soaps, paper, garments, motor vehicles and spare parts. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s main import commodities from Africa are petroleum, cotton, cocoa beans, pulp, and chemicals for fertilizers and industries.

The trade value still has great potential to grow continuously in considering the African countries still need Indonesian export goods such as palm oil, motor vehicles, and mass transportation vehicles, in addition to existing ones such as Indomie.

“Such effort needs to be supported by cooperation of export policy, connectivity, trade agreements, and infrastructure improvement,” said the Vice President in front of the invitees.

Before officially opening IAF 2018, Vice President Jusuf Kalla advised that in order for the hard work to be continued, cooperation agreements that have been made together should be followed up for the sake of common welfare of Indonesia and Africa.


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